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NBC “The Blacklist” star Hisham Tawfiq sits down with Prestige

SYLVIA:        Can you just give us a little background information on Hisham the man? HISHAM:      Well, I’m born and raised in Harlem, New York which I’m extremely proud of. You know, oldest son of five brothers and I also have a 15-year-old son who I love and adore. And, that’s a skeleton of…

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SYLVIA:        Can you just give us a little background information on Hisham the man?

HISHAM:      Well, I’m born and raised in Harlem, New York which I’m extremely proud of. You know, oldest son of five brothers and I also have a 15-year-old son who I love and adore. And, that’s a skeleton of Hisham the man.

SYLVIA:        Who was your greatest inspiration and what were some of the events that sparked your interest in pursuing your present career?

HISHAM:      Mm, great question. I think my greatest inspiration, I would have to say, my parents. I think I watched what my father did, myself and five boys, you know, back in the ’70s in Harlem with drugs and poverty and all types of other negative elements that were running rampant in Harlem, and just to see how he was able to carve out a safe zone for us and install in us some integrity and some skill, some life skills, that to this day I still benefit from, those are the things that encourage me and have carved out the man I am to this day. So, I continue to look up to my father and my mother for everything, all the values that they installed in me.

SYLVIA:        So, what were some of the events that sparked your interest in pursuing the acting career?

HISHAM:      Wow, I would say, you know, the funny thing at a very early age, you know, being the oldest of five boys you kind of already put on a platform of setting the example. I  remember, I think, the first thing my father did with me is, you know, he put me in Karate class and swimming class, and I would always have to, like, perform for the family, like, all of the Kotters, that I learned. So, I would say, you know, just at that early age I would say maybe like seven or eight just performing these Karate moves that already prepared me in some way for the stage, and from there it just continued to grow, and I think I’ve always had some hunger or some desire to express myself artistically and it just started off with Karate and poems, and the next thing you know you’re dancing and speaking, and acting, but I would say, you know, performing those Karate moves  from the early age was probably my first inspiration and steps into acting.

SYLVIA:        We also see that you have undertaken some also very different career paths, some which include your serving our country and keeping us safe as a Marine, a firefighter, and a correctional officer. Have these careers played a part on the impact in of your acting career as well?

HISHAM:      Yeah, I mean, I think the beautiful thing about that, you know, as an actor, you know, what they teach you and the greatest asset is your experiences and being able to call on those experiences to help you on different roles, and I didn’t know it then, but when I  look back at it now being a firefighter, being a Marine, being a correction officer, all of those different things make up the man that I am, so I’m able to call on a lot of those experiences and, you know, it installs a lot of things, all of those jobs are physically demanding, mentally demanding, takes a lot of endurance, and I carry all of those things with me in my career. As you know, there’s a lot of times you have late nights, you have early mornings, five in the morning, you don’t get up until four AM the next morning, so, I mean, all of those things I just carried over, so it helped me out extremely.

SYLVIA:        We also just want to congratulate you on your recurring role on NBC’s The Blacklist. Can you give us a brief description of your character, his mannerisms, and what he brings to the cast?

HISHAM:      Well, Dembe, he’s silent, he’s quiet, but he’s one of those guys that when he gets called upon you know that the job is going to be done and that somebody is in trouble. So, Dembe brings a lot of mystery, he brings a lot of strength, he brings a lot of loyalty, he’s trustworthy. He’s a security, it’s almost like having that alarm system on your house or your car, you just know if you have that good system in there that, whether you are around or not, if something happens that alarm system is going to activate and some forces are going to be unleashed. So, I would describe Dembe is that alarm system.

READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW IN PRESTIGE JANUARY 2015 ISSUE or BY CLICKING THE COVER BELOW

Malinda Williams

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Black Teenager Attacked by Corrections Deputy in Florida, Investigation Underway

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A Florida corrections deputy has been placed on leave after going on the attack against a 17-year-old at a juvenile center … and it’s all on video.

The teenager, Terrance Devon Reed III, was taken to the hospital after the violent altercation with Sarasota County Deputy Neil Pizzo last week. The surveillance footage shows Reed sitting on a bench with his arms tucked in his shirt when Pizzo marches toward him.

As Reed stands up and takes his arms out, the deputy immediately goes for his throat. A struggle ensues before Pizzo throws Reed to the ground, but at no point does the teenager appear to fight back.

Another deputy jumps in to try to wrangle Reed’s feet, and that’s when Pizzo strikes the teen on the back of the head multiple times. Reed’s then cuffed and helped to his feet … but not before suffering abrasions to his head.

The altercation reportedly began after Reed — who was previously arrested and charged with contempt of court, probation violations and cocaine possession — became uncooperative in a police lineup.

That, of course, doesn’t justify the violence by the deputy, and Sheriff Tom Knight says he’s disappointed in what he saw and Pizzo’s failure to de-escalate the situation.

Knight says he placed the deputy on administrative duty while an internal investigation is conducted.

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Tamar Braxton Boyfriend Files A Restraining Order Indicating Domestic

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Tamar Braxton boyfriend is running to court asking for protection against her in what he describes as a domestic violence situation.

The singer’s BF, David Adefeso, filed for a restraining order Tuesday in L.A. seeking to prevent Domestic Violence and he’s asking a judge to grant him one against Tamar. For now, it’s unclear what he’s alleging she might’ve done.

It doesn’t look like the court has approved his request just yet  

At any rate, it’s another sign that things have been volatile lately in her life — especially as it pertains to David. Remember, he’s the one who called 911 not too long ago saying Tamar was threatening to kill herself. He also mentioned her WeTV beef to cops at the time.

Also keep in mind … family sources connected to Tamar have told us they believe she’s changed since getting with him — claiming her mood seems to align with his. We’ve also been told that David has come off as controlling in Tamar’s reality show, and that he’s been quite involved in her business decisions of late.

This continues to be a developing story…..

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Bodies of US Couple Found at Bottom of Well in Mexico

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The bodies of a missing US couple have been found at the bottom of a well in Mexico.

Ian Hirschsohn, 78 and his 73-year-old wife Kathy Harvey had been missing since August 31, when they were supposed to return home to San Diego from a trip across the border.

Their abandoned car was found in Ensenada, just 90 minutes from the US border, last week.

Investigators then made the grim discovery on Thursday in an unpopulated area just south of the tourist hotspot.

The bodies were recovered over the weekend; San Diego police confirmed their identities, CBS8 reported.

Family members said the couple had been staying at a rented house in El Socorrito, about 200 miles south of the border, a town they frequented over the past 35 years.

Kathy texted her son Robert on August 28 to say they were going to either explore a gold mine or visit a beach; however the family lost contact with them on August 31.

After reporting them missing, the Consulate General in Tijuana finally informed the family the couple’s Toyota Land Cruiser had been found in Ensenada.

“She was really enjoying retirement and had multiple groups of friends,” Robert told the site. “She loved walking and traveling.  She had a huge bucket list of where she wanted to go.”

An investigation is now underway. The cause of deaths has not been revealed, nor has a motive, but investigators suspect foul play.

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